Eilene requested carrot salad and some kind of green thing as the vegetable to go with the chili dogs for her birthday meal. I had bought a bottle of Champaign vinegar for another meal a few weeks ago and that seemed like a likely place to start. Thinking about what herbs and spices would compliment this rather expensive ingredient, I started grabbing bottles out of my spice rack. This is what I came up with. Giving the carrots a bit of time to pickle a bit also seemed like an obvious idea.
Karl’s Lightly Pickled Carrots and Spinach Salad
1½ Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbs. Champaign vinegar
1 clove garlic, cracked
½ tsp. tarragon, dried
½ tsp. basil, dried
¼ tsp. black pepper
¼ tsp. sugar
pinch Kosher salt
pinch celery seed
pinch onion powder
3 large heirloom carrots, grated
¼ cup red onion, finely sliced
4-6 oz. baby spinach
1. At least two hours before serving, mix the dressing ingredients in a small jar. Shake them up and let them meld for at least 15 minutes.
2. Mix the grated carrots and red onion in a medium bowl. Pour the dressing over them and toss to coat.
Tip: Discard the clove of garlic, unless you really, really like the taste of raw garlic.
Note: I used three different heirloom carrots, a purple, a yellow, and a bright orange. It made for a very colorful, as well as tasty, salad.
3. Toss the carrot mix every 15 minutes, to redistribute the dressing, for at least one hour.
4. Just before serving, put the spinach in a bowl and pour on most of the carrot mix.
Tip: Reserve about a ¼ cup of the carrot mix to garnish the salad.
5. Toss the salad to distribute the carrots and dressing, garnish with the remaining carrots and serve.